Gameday First Play – Versailles

Posted on by Jesta

The King is on the way to see his new Palace.

Workers are literally running around in circles getting it done.

The palace and gardens of Versailles, finalized under the rule of Louis XIV of France, are an architectural marvel of the world. In Versailles, players take the roles of architects and interior designers, working together to build and decorate the ensemble of Versailles, competing for the favour of the King. Players take turns moving one worker from a building site to an adjacent one, activating all the workers in the new location.

I did a little overview of Versailles when I saw it at the UK Games Expo. I took the chance to play a full game.

This is a picture of the board taken at the Expo…

Versailles Board

As big and as pretty as it is, there are really only 8 action spaces.

3 of them let you gather Marble, Gold and Wood. One lets you take a Palace tile from those available and another lets you build a Palace you own in the Construction Yard, Carcassonne style. One lets you take a decoration tile, one upgrade a tech tree and the last one lets you gain workers…

But what the spaces do isn’t the ‘good’ part, it’s how the game works so you can activate them.

You start, depending on where you are in turn order, with workers spread around the board.

On your turn you move one of your workers down a connecting path to a different space and then place your marker on it to activate it. Depending on the number of workers you have on that space depends on how much you can do…

Versailles Wood

So on this wood space, one worker gets you 1 Wood, 2 two and 3 three… Marble and Gold are similar.

The more workers you have in the other spaces the more options you have.

Not only do you activate one space per turn, you can’t activate the space you activated on the previous turn… There is a tech tree type thing that will help you do more ‘stuff’ on other players turns.

Versailles Tech Tree

The top row lets you gather an extra resource when you activate a gathering space.

The middle row lets you gather resources if you have a worker on a gathering space and another player activates it on their turn.

The bottom row lets you take an action on a Palace, Decoration or Construction Yard space if you have a worker on one of these spaces and another player activates it on their turn .

Speaking of the construction yard, this is where you score most of your points.

Versailles Palace

You can place a tile into the Palace following certain placement rules where artwork must match. Some Palace tiles require Decoration tiles which is why you’re collecting them… Those tiles are generally worth more points when you do place them.

The last space is the Kings Favour spot and this lets you grab more workers. You can also refresh the 2 ‘double move’ tokens you have that let you move a guy twice or two guys once.

This space is also an end game trigger as each time it is activated or a worker moves through it, you move the King down a space closer to the Palace. When he gets there, the game ends.

Versailles King

While it’s a good game, and I like the way it plays, I’m not sure how repeat plays would go.

There are only one or two things I would do differently apart from that I would do everything the same…

Still, better play it again and find out hey? 🙂

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